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Fareed Zakaria GPS

News/Business. Foreign affairs and policies shaping the world.

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CNN

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01:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 11, United States 10, Nixon 9, Pakistan 9, Alcoa 7, Henry Kissinger 6, Washington 5, Volkswagen 5, Clinton 5, Geico 4, Kissinger 4, Reid 3, Richard Nixon 3, Harry Reid 3, America 3, Osama Bin 3, Taiwan 3, Duracell 3, U.s. 3, Daniel 2,
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  CNN    Fareed Zakaria GPS    News/Business. Foreign affairs  
   and policies shaping the world.  

    December 30, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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you're looking at a very familiar picture that is a live picture of the u.s. capitol. why? because we are moments away from the u.s. senate right there convening for a rare sunday session. we are expecting to hear from republican leader mitch mcconnell, maybe even senate majority leader harry reid, as of now so far as we know there is no fiscal cliff deal, but
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negotiations primarily betweens those two men are going on even as we speak or between their staffs. we're hearing a new sense of optimism from some senate members who believe they might be able to pass some kind of minimalist package that would keep tax rates from going up on the majority of americans. i want to go to capitol hill and cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash. dana, is that the sense you get that somehow we should be optimistic about whatever it is that's going on? >> you know, as we talked about before, you definitely get a feeling or the atmosphere here is that there is progress being made but in the same breath, but, there are still thingsing to worked out. as we wait for what we generally see when the senate opens which is the pledge of allegiance, a prayer and so forth, if you see the bottom of your screen, i'm not sure if you can see it, white hair, that is harry reid, the senate majority leader.
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it may be we will hear an update from him. maug maybe we should listen to th the. >> prayer. >> let us feel your presence today on capitol hill, as we gather with so much work left undone, guide our lawmakers with your wisdom. lord, show them the right thing to do and give them the courage to do it. be their shelter in the midst of the storm, regardless of how high the waters rise. when they feel exhausted, remind them of the great sufficiency of your grace. look with favor on our nation
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and save us from self-inflicted wounds. we pray, in your strong name, amen. . >> and now you are familiar with the scene. we will hear "the pledge of allegiance." i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> and now perhaps we are going to hear from the senate majority leader harry reid, down in the well, as i was saying before we heard the prayer, we were getting some guidance that maybe he would speak, maybe he wouldn't speak, really speaks to the fluid nature of the talks
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going on behind the scenes. but the fact that we do see him on the floor there, we actually saw him preparing what looks like a little speech, there he is. >> mike ga lanty nomination at 2:00 p.m., two roll call votes on confirmations on william bear, on attorney general, and carol galante, assistant at hud. there will be a recess to allow for caucus meetings. and the majorities meeting will begin at 3:00 today. the chair announce the business of the day. >> under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order -- >> that is familiar to you and anybody else who tunes in to c-span, unfortunately for us, at least for now, the senate majority leader has not given us ap update on where things stand. he was doing some business, some typical business setting in place the schedule that they do have. they are going to do other work today, believe it or not. they have nominations to vote
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on. so we didn't hear from him in any even in any generic sense about where the talks are. we expect to hear from the republican leader in a little bit, though. >> dana, before i let you go to gather up more information, what are we hearing so far? i know sitting in here, i hear both democrats and republicans sounding fairly optimistic they'll get something before the midnight bell rings on 2013. in general this is up to those two men, one we saw senator reid and the other mitch mcconnell. >> that's right. it's up to them. and, of course they are no question consulting with the white house, consulting with some of the various factions i would say in their caucuses and conferences. to figure out if they're heading in the right direction and each side could swallow what they're talking about. if they have a deal, big if,
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nobody is going to be happy with it. it's interesting these two men certainly when it comes to the issue of trust, we talked about the fact that the president and the house speaker who were really the prime negotiators for weeks and weeks, don't have a good level of trust, don't have a good relationship, these two men do. senator reid and senator mcconnell know each other and work together as only leaders of the senate have to and have to come to really rely on each other. and so maybe when it comes to the relationships here in washington, it's a good thing that it's these two men that are working together and you're right, it does rest on their shoulders right now. >> dana bash, covering the stories for us on capitol hill. i have with me michael crowley, and a.b. stoddard and jessica yellen. >> it's great if the two can come to an agreement and the white house loves it, but it's always been the house that's been the sticking point. what do you think the scenario is there, a.b.? >> that's going to be tough for the house speaker. he said on friday in meeting with all the leaders and the president that he wanted to
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bring something up. might be amended and sent back to the senate. he doesn't know what's in there. how much money the democrats are going to push for to cover the medicare doc fix. the uninsurance -- excuse me, unemployment insurance that is going to lapse at the end of the year and put 2 million people out of reach of a check. and there's other issues. the alternative minimum tax. a lot of money that they're scrambling to find as they also deal with the tax issues. so it's really going to depend on what those numbers look like and boehner doesn't entirely have a sense until he has a senate proposal to try to sell to his house side. >> i just want to remind our viewers, we will join fareed zakaria, "gps" in progress as we watch the senate floor and the senate in general. for any signs of progress. there used to be the hastert rule, a majority of the majority, most republicans, in
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this case they're at majority, must support a bill before denny hastert would put it on the house floor. i don't get a sense that's where speaker boehner is. >> you could imagine a scenario where the house could pass an agreement that's reached in the senate, with a minority of republicans and dozens of democrats make up the difference. that would essentially be john boehner falling on his sword, diving on the grenade and giving up his speakership. you know, democrats might say this would be a great act of self-sacrifice, not the kind of thing you see in washington. there isn't any indication it's going to happen. it's worth reminding people, if we go over the cliff the world doesn't end. it gets worse the more time passes into january and god fored by february, but there's a good chance they will work something out in early january. unfortunately, the flip side, if they do a band-aid solution right now, we have the debt limit fight coming up. things are still in churn. it's not like it's black and white in the next 24 hours. >> really quickly, do you think the speaker would put a bill on
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the floor that he knew most of his republicans would vote against? >> that's a tough call. a lot of people say his speakership is safe but that vote happens on thursday. you have seen things implode, leadership fights. it's a dangerous thing do. >> it could be blessed, though. >> right. >> they could agree in advance, his members, to let him do it potentially. >> right. >> even though they would vote against it. >> lots and lots of things that are going on many layers to this. can we remind viewers the negotiators are working this out, reid and mcconnell explaining it to their members they could if they get the deal and members agree and they could hold the vote later this evening. >> we'll monitor things. we have to take a quick break. on the other side "fareed zakaria gps." >> i remember saying to my husband oh, my goodness what will happen, there won't be any
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[ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. for nearly a year, only a handful of people closest to the president knew that he was weighing a decision to kill or capture osama bin laden. the risk of a leak was deemed so great not even the secretaries of state or defense were in the loop until the final weeks. worries about the huge potential downside loomed large.
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no one wanted a repeat of the iran hostage crisis, desert one debacle. the high stakes missions one of the delta forces first that turned into a deadly inferno when a helicopter and plane collided. here now, more of my interview with the man tasked to run the decision-making process, president obama's national security adviser tom donilon. did people worry this was going to be desert two? >> yeah. fareed, this is why it was a difficult decision. what were the risks? there were risks to the forces carrying out the operation. there was a risk of failure and its impact on the united states and its face to the world. there was risk to the pakistani relationship. we were undertaking a unilateral action inside pakistan to go after osama bin laden. so all those risks were on the table and had to be considered by the president and the principals who made their recommendation. i will tell you this in line with your question, there was a lot of history
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present in the room, secretary gates. there was a national security aide during desert one. i was a young aid to president carter during desert one. # vice president biden was in the senate. it was clearly on people's minds. also what was in the room, it's interesting, was one of the aspects that came out of desert one and that was the formation of a unified special operation forces command, the very troops, the forces here that would carry out this operation that had become such a unique asset of the united states. >> the president made one decision informed it seems to me like that history, which is he asked for two backup helicopters. >> the president asked for enough assets to ensure that the united states on its own could get in and could get out of the abbottabad compound. >> so now take us to that moment or was it a series of meetings what we now know is that vice president biden voiced reservations about an actual raid as opposed to a missile strike.
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secretary gates did. some key military leaders did. what was that like? was it a situation where the majority of the president's advisers were urging him not to do this? >> to get to this point, there were two dozen interagency meetings leading up to this point but on the thursday before the raid, it was the final principals committee meeting, a national security council meeting with the president in the chair having a discussion about -- and receiving the final briefing on the various operations, the various alternatives. and he did ask each of the members, senior members of the national security team, for their views. and it was a room with divided counsel. and at the end of the day, the president said thank you, and you'll have my decision tomorrow and he got up and he walked out of the situation room, up the stairs, and across the famous colonnade and went back to his residence and the mansion here and the decision rested with him. # one person on behalf of over 300 million americans making that decision. >> were you nervous grappling with this issue? how much did it weigh on you? how much did you take it back
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with you home? how much was it sort of an all-consuming issue? >> you know, we were doing the rest of our business as well. it was part of the operational security. as is the style of this president, it was very methodical, very organized, moving through the issues one by one, and, of course, we thought about it a lot, and obviously he thought about it a lot having to make the final decision and he did that night and again the next morning at around 8:00 i heard from him and he said meet me in the diplomatic room, and myself and john brennan and dennis mcdonough and chief of staff bill daley met him and he turned to us and said i made my decision, we're going to go with a raid. write up the orders. >> and at that point, what do you do? >> i returned to my office and drafted the orders and signed them. >> and then how was it operationalized? >> we had developed prior to that literally a playbook of every step that would have to be taken from the point that the president made the decision and we began to implement that. we came into the office on
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sunday morning and we began a 10 1/2 hour principals committee meeting. >> 10 1/2 hours continuous? >> yes. >> and you were watching that? >> yes. >> when it began, how nervous were you? >> i don't know if it was nervous. focused is a better way to describe it. >> were there any drops in mood when that helicopter malfunctioned? >> yes, of course. yeah, a helicopter did malfunction and a tail hit the wall and it had a hard landing. but contingencies had been planned for including that and the operation went forward without missing a beat. >> when did you breathe a sigh of relief. at what point did you know that the mission was completely successful? >> nobody breathed a sigh of relief, including the president, until we heard that all the forces were back across into afghan air space and they were out of pakistan air space. >> the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda and a
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terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children. >> when you think about why the president made this decision, why this focus, why take this risk for this operation, it's because it is important for the united states to do what it says it's going to do. and i'd like to think that if there had been a c-span covering the activities of the american government leading up to and through the successful completion of the raid against osama bin laden, that the american people would have been proud. >> up next, a very different set of parameters leading to a tough decision. it's a choice that millions of women face in the course of their lives. >> the stress was just overwhelming. i couldn't live up to that responsibility. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh?
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for a little over two years, anne-marie slaughter held one of america's most important jobs. >> i'm going to let anne-marie start. >> well, the first things -- >> as director of policy planning at the state department, she worked extremely closely with secretary of state hillary clinton traveling the world and providing strategic analysis and advice on the days'
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most complex and urgent international issues. she was the first ever woman policy planning director. it was, she said, the job she had always wanted. >> no one is happier than i am that this day is here. >> but then slaughter just gave it up, quit, turned in her resignation letter to secretary clinton and left washington. she resumed her princeton professorship and life in new jersey with her husband and two teenage sons. in the wake of her departure, slaughter wrote a cover story for "the atlantic" magazine, why women still can't have it all. within days the piece became the most read in "the atlantic's" 150-year history. over 1 million views in the first week alone. tonight anne-marie slaughter takes us behind that personal decision that became a raging public debate. explain the intensity of that kind of job because it's really
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much more than what many people think. this is a more intense job than a very senior job in the private sector. >> it's certainly comparable. it's an assistant secretary level job which means, you know, you're on pretty much all the time. you're the head of the secretary of state's private think tank and that means you cover the entire world just as she does and you're on for everything she needs you to do and sort of the longer term planning, and you work pretty much around the clock. >> so you're working probably six days a week. >> absolutely. now, i commuted back every weekend because i had to be with my kids in princeton every weekend but i would do plenty of work on the weekends. had i been in washington i probably would have been working seven days a week. >> generally speaking, you would get into the office what time in the morning and leave at what time? >> it would begin between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning and it would end around 11:00 at night. >> every day. >> pretty much. >> and many of these meetings can't be rescheduled.
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i mean, you have a meeting between 20 countries in kazakhstan and it's going to happen, it has to happen. if you have a personal problem, there's no way to reschedule. >> no, absolutely not. i always say you can't tell the egyptian revolution hold, i have got to go home, come back on monday. you have to respond, you have to be there. >> you enjoyed the job. >> i did. >> this was in some ways your dream job. >> yes, it was. >> but then two years into it you decide you're going to leave. >> yeah. because the hard part was actually realizing i've always been somebody who wants to do these jobs, foreign policy is my passion, and yet actually i'm also a mother and i want to be at home for the last five years that my children are at home and it was hard for me to admit that to myself. but in the end i had to recognize both as a matter of
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need and want that my life was going to go in a different direction than i had always expected it would, and i had to listen to that and i had to in the end kind of say, wow, maybe i'm not quite the same person i thought i was, but i know this is the right thing for me to do. >> what was the most difficult part of your job in relation to balancing it with your role as a mother? >> it was just that sense so often where, you know, particularly my oldest son really needed me home, needed us both there, and i was in another place. and i could not do anything about that. you know, i think that is true for millions of parents and certainly millions of women, and i realized the stress was just overwhelming of knowing that i had a child who really did need me and i couldn't respond. i couldn't live up to that responsibility. >> after you came to your decision, you must have talked to secretary clinton. she's a working woman, like you.
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what was that conversation like? >> first thing i just have to say, she was a fabulous boss and she fully understood the tensions of having children who are teenagers with this kind of a job. in many ways i felt like she gave me permission to go home. i sort of thought to myself, well, if hillary clinton could have the kind of career she had post-kids and if she understands these kinds of stresses, it's okay. you know, i can go home. >> hillary clinton when she was asked about your article, which, you know, obviously everyone had read, she said look, i have always advocated for flexibility but some women can handle the pace and others can't. what would you say about that? >> i don't think it's a question of the pace. i actually love the pace and i will impose that on myself. no matter how organized you are, you need more flexibility. you need the ability to step out for a while and come back in which many women don't have or you need the ability particularly at lower levels to work from home a little or to
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simply have more flexibility. i'm still working more than full time, but working in a way that i can get up in the morning and be with my kids and go to sleep in the morning and be with my kids and be there if they really need me. i'm not the hero. the heroes are the people who don't have choices and still work to support their kids. both secretary clinton and i share the same goal of getting women to the top and i think it's going to take more than just great organization to get us there. >> are your kids happy that they see a lot more of you now? >> yes, although there would be definitely days where both their father and i are beating on them to do their homework or whatever where i think they might want to ship me back to washington. no, overall, there's no question this is far better, and this is the kind of family life that i had kids to have, and it's never perfect, but it is a blessing. up next, rescuing a company in distress and starting with a
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very unusual tough decision. >> they were mystified. they were like what is this guy supposed to be talking about? and later henry kissinger on a top secret white house decision that changed history.
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paul o'neill may be best known as secretary of the treasury under president george w. bush, but it's a difficult call he made years before that that altered the course of a major american company and literally saved lives in the process. >> i can't say to you, you know, this is all one group or all another group. >> in 1987 o'neill became ceo of one of the largest and oldest aluminum companies in the world, alcoa. on the eve of its centennial, the storied corporation was in trouble. inefficient, rapid expansion had left profits dwindling and moral waning. putting o'neill in charge was a big change. in nearly 100 years, alcoa had never hired an out of house ceo. someone who had not climbed through the ranks of the tightly-knit management system
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and who was not well-versed in metal making. the company was in for a surprise with the first decision o'neill made. executives and shareholders thought it was bizarre, unorthodox, and indifferent to the bottom line. so what was that decision? let's find out. when you came to alcoa, describe what the company was like in terms of its financial situation. >> it was a company that was in some difficulty. they had been losing market share and their profits were not nearly good enough to cover their cost of capital. >> what was the first thing you decided to do? >> the first day i was there i asked the vice president, who was then in charge of safety to come and show me the facts about where alcoa was. in those days they were quite good in terms of safety. their injury rate per 100 workers per year was $1.86, almost two injuries per 100 workers that caused people to miss one day of work. at that time the national rate in the united states was 5 injuries for 100 workers.
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after i praised the vice president, you're really good and done great things, i said to him, i want you to know something because this is what i'm going to do from now on. i'm going to say publicly to everybody who will listen to me, people who work at alcoa should never be hurt at work. we should have zero injuries. >> so you come into this troubled company as this outside ceo, and you say the first thing i'm going to focus on is worker safety. did wall street understand you? did your board understand? why is this guy focusing on worker safety? >> it took a while. i tell you, the people who had been in the organization for a long time, they didn't say it to my face but behind my back they were saying, he doesn't know anything about making aluminum. it's 2,000-degree metal flowing around the plants. there are clanging overhead cranes, forklift trucks racing around these massive factory floors, and he doesn't understand. but as soon as the metal prices go down, he'll shut up and we'll
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go on being as good as we already are in health and safety, and i knew i would have that kind of reaction. first time i came to wall street, they invited me to come and have a luncheon meeting with the new york financial analyst community in a big amphitheater down on wall street, maybe 250 people in the room. so i got up and i said to them, well, first thing i want to talk to you about is safety. they were like what is this guy supposed to be talking about margin improvement and, you know, more aluminum in cars and -- what is he doing talking to us about safety? >> you decide to focus on workers' safety really as a path of changing the culture of the place and showing you can always improve at anything. what were you thinking? >> i believed that human beings have what i call discretionary not. -- energy that they can give you or not.
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and i don't think they will give it to you if they don't feel that they're treated with dignity and respect every day. if people can say i'm treated with dignity and respect, a down payment on that is nobody ever gets hurt here because we care about our own commitment to our safety and we care about the people we work with, and it swells up into everything you do so it creates a sense of pride about the organization you're involved in. >> and then you start asking them for increased productivity and increased -- >> they give it to you. you don't actually have to ask for it. you need to turn them loose. >> describe how alcoa did over the course of your tenure. >> well, we went from 1.86 for 100 workers per year having an injury that caused them to miss a lost work day. we got to 0.13. to give you a reference point, the number in health medical care institution in the united states is 5.
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right. >> and now describe what happened to alcoa commercially, financially under your tenure. >> well, i think we improved the market capitalization of the company 900% while i was there. so we went from basically a company that the market valued at $4 billion to $28 billion in 13 years. >> and you attribute that to the -- the start of it was that decision. >> it was bringing people together and releasing their energy in a positive way. >> so then they believed in you. >> yes. >> up next, perhaps the most consequential decision in american foreign policy of the last 50 years. >> we had no way of knowing who was on the other side. [ male announcer ] break the grip of aches or arthritis pain
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hello. i'm martin savidge and you're in the cnn newsroom. here are the top stories this hour. right now, congress scrambling to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff before tuesday's deadline president the senate and house are convening while senate negotiators work at a plan to prevent massive spending cuts and tax hikes from kicking in january 1st. president obama appeared today on nbc's "meet the press" and said the cuts in spending need to be fairly distributed. >> what i'm not willing to do is to have the entire burden of deficit reduction rest on the
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shoulders of seniors making students pay a higher student loan rates, ruining our capacity to invest in things like basic research that help our economy grow. >> in news overseas the bodies of the dead are being carried away in syria today. at least 397 people were killed saturday. that is the deadliest day so far in the 21-month long civil war. another 52 died today. the joint u.n. arab league envoy said the situation is rapidly deteriorating but that a solution is still possible. in massachusetts boston's mayor lifted a snow emergency a little earlier today. more than a foot of snow fell on several towns across that state overnight. crews are clearing tons of snow in the gillette stadium now preparing for the patriots/dolphins game this afternoon. keep it here as the clock ticks to the fiscal cliff. we are live on capitol hill and at the white house. plus we'll be back with a full hour at 2:00 p.m. eastern here
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in the cnn newsroom. we'll see you then. it was one of the most important diplomatic missions in history. also one of the most clandestine and risky. four decades ago henry kissinger, then president nixon's national security adviser, secretly flew to china beginning a string of meetings that would eventually open that isolated eastern nation to the western world. that opening checked soviet expansionism and in a sense was the beginning of the end of the cold war. >> this was the week that changed the world. >> it was also the beginning of china's entry into the world economy, which has resulted in that country becoming the world's second largest economy. >> red china's battle plan.
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>> but back then the idea of a rapprochement with china would have been rejected as pure fantasy. china was a communist regime that had been fighting america and its allies across the globe. how did the decision come about in the midst of such intense opposition? what were the internal maneuverings that paved the way, the secret dealings that made it actually happen? who better to ask than the man himself, dr. henry kissinger. this is what the world looked like when you enter into the white house with richard nixon. the united states has had no relations with china. we have been implacably opposed to this regime. we fought against them, american soldiers died in the korean war fighting the chinese, we fought them indirectly in vietnam. we recognized taiwan as the republic of china, and you come into office and within three years you open relations to
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china, agree to withdraw american troops from taiwan. what made you make that decision? >> the conviction was that a country of the magnitude of china could not be kept out of the international system indefinitely and would distort the international system. also, we thought if the soviet union, which had just occupied czechoslovakia could now do the same to china, that would change the psychological and strategic position in the world. >> and it was here in the growing wedge between the two communist powers that nixon and kissinger saw an opening. they would lean toward china. trouble was how to contact a regime whose very existence the united states denied? >> we came up with the idea that our ambassador in warsaw should walk up to the chinese ambassador at the next social event in which they were both present and ask for a meeting and say we wanted to talk.
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>> this was like a spy thriller. >> absolutely. so there was a yugoslav fashion show and they were both there. our ambassador walked over to the chinese and our ambassador chased him down the hallway and finally cornered him long enough to say we wanted to talk. two weeks later a chinese car flying the chinese flag arrived at our embassy and brings the ambassador saying, okay, i'm ready to talk. >> but the meetings met with little progress. in the summer of 1969 with lower bureaucratic channels broken down kissinger and nixon devised a plan to go straight to the top, right to chairman mao. during a trip to pakistan they asked the president to arrange the china connection. >> nothing happened for six months, and then we got a message from the chinese via pakistan that basically said we should start talking but in a very convoluted way.
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between each of these communications there was about three months because they were hand carried, handwritten. it was 19th century style diplomacy. >> so untraceable in case it was found. >> somewhat deniable, somewhat less embarrassing. we had no way of knowing who was on the other side. >> dr. kissinger, mr. president. >> hi, henry. >> mr. president. >> yeah. >> nixon and kissinger knew that one misunderstanding, one slip up could derail these initial contacts. >> i think our chinese game, henry should be played exactly as it's being played, very cool and aloof and yet the door is open. now you walk in kids and it's your move. >> in 1971 during a lag in dispatchers, the lob of a tiny ball nearly derailed the plan. >> the chinese on their own to our intense confusion invited
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the united states ping-pong team to china, which they did as a warning to us which in effect said you better hurry up with your answer because if you don't do it in the channel we are talking now, we may go public. it was an intense difficulty for us because none in our government knew about the private channel. literally no one except nixon and me and one or two people who were technicians. >> but let me ask you about the risks here because the chinese are a complete black box to you. all you know is that they're pretty crazy, at least seemingly so from the cultural revolutions. >> absolutely. >> the revolutions they're fomenting everywhere.
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>> so this whole thing if exposed could have been a disaster. >> and, therefore, it was to the enormous credit of nixon that he would take those risks. >> did he worry about the risks when you would talk about them? >> you know, nixon on issues of national interest was enormously courageous and what was even more remarkable is that nixon was inherently a pessimist and even when taking these risks had a certain sense of doom, that they might not really work, but he felt this was the one move that had to be made. to >> so he decides you will go to china. >> yes. >> when we come back, the secrets and the stealth diplomacy that made it all happen. >> they went to mao, and he said, who cares who invited whom. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership.
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in april 1971, after months of secret diplomacy, national security adviser, henry kissinger and president richard nixon received the dispatch they had been waiting for. the chinese premier requested
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the presence of a united states representative in beijing. then know as peking. the news could not have been bigger or more top-secret. not even the vice president nor the secretary of state knew about kissinger and nixon's attempts to reopen relations with china. as i continue my conversation with henry kissinger tonight. he takes us behind the scenes of the decision that changed history. >> so he decides that you will go to china. >> yes. >> first he has to go through in his mind whom is he going to send. the trouble was hover went would be alone in beijing with no communication. and therefore, if he didn't know nixon's mind. he might do foolish things. and so, by this process, nixon came to the conclusion that he had to send me because i had worked with him intimately. hours every day.
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>> i'm just going to finesse all questions on china. >> pulling the trip off would also require keeping the press entirely in the dark. >> it is enigmatic as hell. >> that would be the best possible position to take. >> and let them thump around and squirrel and squeal as they will. >> even the smallest leak could shut down this ambitious plan. the two men schemed to play into reporters' queries, sending them on a series of phony diplomatic meetings. >> it was a cover for the trip. >> and you go to pakistan. >> it started out in vietnam. go to thailand. go to india, go to pakistan. excruciatingly boring program at each trip. have a lot of technical discussions, having absolutely nothing to announce and losing news every trip we were down to one. associated press reporter by the time we left india.
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>> by design, because you were making it so boring. >> by design, yes. >> in pakistan you feign illness, what did you say was wrong? >> they said i had some intestinal problem. and they were taking me for a day of rest. >> but in fact what happens? >> in fact what happens is that at 4:00 a.m. i ended the pakistan plan and there are four chinese sitting there to welcome and to escort me into china. >> when kesinger arrived in peking. he had only 48 hours to arrange the crucial meeting between nixon and mao in china. any longer before returning to pakistan and his cover might be blown. for the first few hours, the chinese stalled, taking him sightseeing, insisting that he nap. finally with only a few hours left, henry kissinger met face to face with chinese premier
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cho en lai. >> he said what are we going to say about the trip. and i said, what trip are you talking about? and he said, both trips. so they had made that move. >> both trips meaning your trip and -- >> nixon's trip. >> the president's upcoming trip. >> which hadn't actually ever been stated. but that was implied. >> with time running out. the men began drafting an official announcement. but they deadlocked on one key point. >> the issue was who had invited who. the chinese wanted to say that we had invited ourselves. we wanted to say that the chinese had invited us. so between two at night and 10:00 a.m., we didn't know what was going to happen. what we now know is that they went to mao and he said, who
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cares who invited whom? why don't we say they invited each other. >> the announcement i shall now read is being issued simultaneously in peeking and in the united states. knowing that of president nixon's express desire to visit the people's republic of china, premier cho enlai on behalf of the people's republic of china has extended an invitation to president nixon to visit china at an appropriate date before may, 1972. president nixon has accepted the invitation with pleasure. >> a few months later, in february 1972, as the world watched, henry kissinger and richard nixon touched down in china, few trips in history have been as consequential or controversial. particularly on the american right which saw china as evil, taiwan as the true